Dickinson Flood Victims Return Home to Devastation and Hope

The storm that brought the Gulf Coast to its knees is finally out of Texas. But the disaster left behind by Harvey in Houston, Beaumont and points in between is nowhere near over.

Dickinson is one hard-hit community. It's about 40 miles southeast of Houston, and the entire city was under a mandatory evacuation during the storm.

Now that the waters have dropped, people are returning to scenes of devastation but also ones of hope.

"This handle was the only thing sticking out of the water," said Chris Rhoads, pointing to a ruined Harley Davidson motorcycle in his garage.

Rhoads is starting over. Everything he owns is in a pile in the front yard.

"When I left, the water was barely getting into the house. When I came back, it was waist-high," Rhoads said.

He wasn't home to save anything because he was out saving people.

"I was the only boat," Rhoads said. "You drive down, and everybody's sitting on their roofs. Everybody's needing help, and you're trying. You know, these people are on oxygen, and you're trying to get to a certain person, but you're passing 200 people to get to them."

Now the needs are shifting, and Dickinson is responding. Dickinson High School has turned into a massive help center with donations coming from all over, like Frisco-based company ID Life.

"Over 35,000 pounds of cargo and counting heading this way," said Jennifer Moran, who works for the company.

Weary flood victims lined the block.

"Worn out, ragged, trying to get a little food and water," said one woman in line, Michelle Urban.

She'll find that and more inside. The school gym is overflowing with clothing, diapers and kindness.

"My house is warm and dry, and nothing got in it," said 12-year-old volunteer Kamryn Cruz. "I felt like I should come help people."

That includes people like the Garcia family.

"We got eight inches of water in our house," said Eliah Garcia, adding as he looked around, "It looks like people helped out a lot. A lot."

As Dickinson starts to fight its way back, neighbors know their best resource is each other.

"We're a small-knit community, we stick together," Rhoads said.

The donation center at Dickinson High School has plenty of clothes on hand. They don't need those donations anymore and don't need volunteers. They are still accepting food and cleaning supplies. The city is also in need of monetary donations.

ID Life is taking in donations at its warehouse in Frisco that they'll be shipping down to the Houston area. They're asking for things like canned food, cleaning supplies, portable fans and small generators, and they're asking people to remember to continue donating in the months to come.

The company is also asking centers in need of donations to contact them so they know where to deliver supplies.


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